Finn Harps, Institute face tough tasks on home soil this weekend

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Finn Harps could welcome back a familiar face when they entertain Wexford Youths tomorrow night (Sat.) in Ballybofey. (Kick-off: 7.45 p.m.)

Experienced central midfielder, Shaun McGowan, is set to make a return to action and his presence will boost the young players in the current squad.

The 27-year-old re-signed for the Finn Park outfit on Tuesday night on a one-year contract having played in the friendly win against Bonagee United last Sunday and will offer manager, Peter Hutton and Director of Football Felix Healy vital experience in the midfield engine room.

McGowan played 45 minutes at Dry Arch Park - a match the Airtricity League Division One club won 1-0 thanks to a Gary Merritt goal - but was withdrawn suffering from a slight ankle knock.

Having received treatment on the injury on Tuesday night in Ballybofey, McGowan is now hoping to be available for selection tomorrow.

“I’m glad to be back as I’ve always been a Harps’ fan and the last time I saw them play was only last month in the pre-season friendly against Derry City at the Brandywell,” he said.

“I didn’t make it to the Mervue United match a fortnight ago as I was playing Gaelic football.”

McGowan, because of his dual commitments, could face a hectic weekend as his club, Sean MacCumhaill’s are involved in the Ulster Club Intermediate Football League final against Foreglen on Sunday in Faughanvale at 12.00 noon.

Then, on Monday night Harps welcome the Mayo League in a EA Sports League Cup tie.

“It’s a busy few days indeed,” McGowan added. “I’m not sure how I will be or what the story is with the Gaelic but I’ll talk to Felix and Pat McNabb, the Sean MacCumhaill’s manager, and see what they think.”

Stute face ‘Ard task

at Riverside Stadium

Meanwhile, Institute face a ‘must win’ Irish League Championship One home fixture against Ards at the Riverside Stadium tomorrow afternoon. (Kick-off 3.00 p.m.)

The Drumahoe men have refused to give up their slim hopes of promotion back to the Irish League top flight this season and while it’s still mathematically possible, there is very little room for error for the Waterside men.

However, following the impressive 0-2 victory over Larne last weekend at Inver Park, confidence will be high going into tomorrow’s clash.

But Paul Kee’s side willface a different proposition in Ards who recorded a 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Dixon Park this season with goals from Darren Nixon and Nathan McConnell.

Ards are currently three points ahead of ‘Stute in third place in the Championship One table, but they have played one game more.